YA Scavenger Hunt!

Hello there, Super Sleuths!

I’m so excited to be a part of the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am part of #TeamRed! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.

If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website.

You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days.


Team Red 1

This year I am hosting Brendan Reichs, another writer from North Carolina.  Is it just me, or is this place full of great talent? Gotta be the BBQ.  I hear Brendan can down 23 ribs in one sitting. That’s a lot of baby back!

He has graciously offered to give us a sneak peek sample from Spike, a Virals short story to be released this winter. Whoopee! I love sneaky stuff!

You can buy his other fine books here.

 

SPIKE – Sneak Peek Sample

I was staring into the abyss.

Giant, brimming, sky-blue wells of horror, only moments from unleashing a torrent of mascara-infused tears.

“I already looked in there!” Whitney moaned, arms wrapped tightly to her chest. She stomped a foot, her snow-white wedding dress shimmering in the warm afternoon sunlight pouring through a bay window. Perfect blonde curls bounced precariously atop her head. “I’m telling you Tory, it’s missing!”

I dropped her Louis Vuitton bag to the floor, struggling to keep my annoyance in check. “Okay, Whitney. But I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. We double-checked everything just a few minutes ago.”

Whitney’s hands seized the sides of her dress. Then she flinched, releasing her grip and frantically smoothing the delicate while silk with her palms. She’d been a live wire all morning, from the moment I spied her practicing her walk down the aisle at dawn.

“Can you describe it for me again?” Voice calm. Holding her eye. Afraid that if I looked away she might crumple to the floor and never get up.

Her eyes bugged. “It’s blue, obviously!”

“Yes, Whitney. I know your ‘something blue’ is, in fact, blue.” Deep breath. Blank expression—like one you’d use on a stray dog of unknown temperament. “But perhaps a little further detail?”

“It’s a garter,” Whitney huffed, hands working. “My mother’s, from her own wedding. Robin’s-egg blue, with white embroidery.”

I nodded, remembering the tiny item. “You had it at home, when we inspected your bag before leaving.” For the fourth time. “So it must’ve been here when you unpacked. We just have to track the thing down.”

“Unless it was stolen,” Whitney muttered darkly, a frown pinching her delicate features. “I was in the ladies’ room before, and that hairstylist left in an awful hurry.”

“Devin didn’t steal your garter.” I was well past irritated, but trying to cover it. “She had to go touch-up the other bridesmaids.” Oh how I wished to be with them at that moment, though I didn’t have a thing in common with Whitney’s gaggle of beautiful frenemies. But the Maid of Honor has ironclad personal-assistant-to-the-bride duties. And right then, they included locating a six-inch hoop of missing taffeta.

I glanced around. We were alone in a spacious drawing room on the second floor of the Williem Carter House, one of the most exclusive wedding venues in Charleston. Both the service and reception were being held there. A National Historic Landmark, the ancient private home boasted a showcase of museum-caliber art and antiques, with a stunning ballroom surrounded by a cozy garden courtyard. The venerable old building was the height of refinement and charm. Whitney Dubois—a southern debutante to the tips of her manicured toes—wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even I had to admit the place was perfect.

However, at the moment, the palatial residence was hiding an apparently crucial element of Whitney’s ensemble, and the bride-to-be was verging on hysterics. So I was down on my knees in a dress and heels, peering under an ornate collection of couches, bookcases, and coffee tables for this stupid, useless, confounded blue garter that no one but Kit would ever see anyway.

Ew. I fast-forwarded past that unpleasant thought, searching the hand-stitched carpet with my fingers. My quarry continued to elude me.

“We’ll simply have to postpone,” Whitney babbled, verging on collapse. “You’ll tell the guests. The caterers will howl, of course, but I don’t see any way—”

“Just hold on.” I sat back on my heels, palms up in a calming gesture designed for spooked horses. “Take a breath. We don’t need to postpone the wedding. Let’s just retrace our steps a bit. Find this stupid garter.”

“It is not—”

My hand chopped sideways. “Of course not. Poor choice of words.” I rose and began pacing, chewing my bottom lip as my blue-green eyes turned inward, reviewing our progress of that morning. After the … events of last year, my irises had never returned to their former emerald green. A few people noticed from time to time, but not in any particularly startled way. “It happens,” was the phrase I heard most often.

Not usually from ingesting a covertly-manufactured anti-viral serum created in hopes of reversing a catastrophic DNA mutation—one which granted the infected subjects extrasensory canine superpowers—but whatever.


 

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing, Brendan!

My bonus to the party: Leave a comment below about Brendan’s sneak peak and I’ll draw a random winner for a copy of my book. Your choice, paper back or ebook.

Next stop on #YASH is Sarah Negovetich

Happy Hunting!

 

Cover Reveal: The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl

Today is the day! Happy Friday the 13th! To celebrate I get to show you my cover.

20140613-005310.jpg

How do you like them apples? Pretty nifty, eh?

Here’s the info for prizes:

· One (1) ebook copy of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

· Open Internationally

· Winner will be drawn June 20, 2014

· Winners will receive their book on release day

Rafflecopter Link (Winner will be drawn June 20, 2014):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzA4YzllOGVhNjNmZDBjNGRjZjNjYzUwYzFhNDY1OjE5Ng==/

And just to sweeten the pot, if you are a fan from WattPad, leave me a msg with your WattPad username in the comments below and I’ll put you in a drawing for a ThinkGeek.com gift card.

Cheers all!!

Egypt Rules

So my good friend Katie just released her book KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh with Curiosity Quills today. You can and should purchase it on amazon here. Come on! It’s only $4.99 for the kindle edition. How can you pass up a great read for $4.99?

Katie is an awesome writer and a great critique partner. I really admire her love of ancient history. She has the determination and brain power to do the research that should go into any good historical piece of fiction. I know the word FICTION denotes the fact that a story is made up. But a really good, believable Historical Fiction manuscript is backed up  by hours and hours of research. That’s why I’m not as good at it. I get lost in the details. I love doing the research, but I let the research trip me up. I get fixated on the tiniest details to the point that I freeze completely as a writer. I like to call it writer’s ice-block.

If you’re coming to my site from Katie’s blog hop, I might have something you’re looking for 😉

hieroglyph

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to Katie’s site and join in the fun! Who doesn’t love a culture that wears a ton of make up and writes with pictures? I know I do! Who doesn’t love a book carefully written about said culture that includes, love, intrigue and girl power? I know I do :)

Cheers!

 

Bring More YA to Raleigh!

So there’s this great contest going on where you can vote for your home town and the winning town wins a stop on a HUGE YA Author tour! Fantastic eh? I think we should vote Raleigh into that mother. Why? because Boise is currently #1 and by now we all know how I feel about Idaho.

Here are the details!

Website is here: http://ya2u.blogspot.com/  Read the rules then click on the Contest Entry link to enter.

Spread the word like I did! Share on your blog or FB or Twitter and use the Raffle Copter entry widget to enter for a chance to win 10 signed YA books! Nice eh?? How can it be easier? Well, if I were to post the link for the Raffle Copter Entry form right here that might be easier, eh? Ok! I’ll do that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell them Jennifer Holt sent you (I used my covert name!)

Don’t let me down!!
Cheers!

The Next Big Thing

Thank you Maria Monteiro for inviting me to join in The Next Big Thing blog hop! I’m excited about this one because I get to talk all about the book I’m currently hard at work on: The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Inocuous Girl!

What?! You think that’s a crazy title? Well, let’s just say I needed a working title that made me smile when I opened up the file. Plus I just like the way it rolls off my tongue. If I ever sell it (please Lord let me sell this one!) I’m sure there will be a much better title suggested. But for now, I like it this way :)

Don’t forget to leave comment to be entered for my mostest specialest drawing this month! A hard back signed copy of Ally Condie’s latest work of YA goodness: REACHED! Merry Christmas to YOU!

(Note: if you do NOT want this prize, and if you do not have someone you’d like to give it to for Christmas, since it is such an awesome prize, please let me know so the die hard fans have a better chance of winning. THANK YOU!)

And now.. here are the questions I am required to answer for your reading pleasure:

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

As discussed above: The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl

Q2: Where did the idea for the book come from?

It’s based on the true story of my great^6 grandmother who emigrated from France to Canada through a social program set up by the king to help settle the wild west.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

I started writing this book as straight up YA Historical Fiction, but I got so BORED so FAST I decided to add a steampunk twist. Never made a better choice in my life! Except maybe switching from Pepsi to Coke 😉

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Uh… ok. This is where you’re going to see what a loser I am. I have NO IDEA who any actors are anymore that are under the age of 40. I’m not 40, but I tend to always follow famous people who are older than me, unless they are shoved in my face by the media. However, none of those particular people (eh hem, Taylor Swift, Kanye West) really fit my characters. So I cruised the “Hottest New Actors” list on IMDB and guess what? Most of them were too old too! Weird huh? I’m also not a big fan of Team Edward or Team Jacob so those dudes are out. Here’s what I came up with:

Marguerite would be Emma stone. She’s just the right amount of spoiled rich girl and I’d love to see her in a roll where she had to kick some pirate butt. Plus I think she’d be able to pull off the emotional growth without it being sappy. Claude, her childhood friend turned love interest would be played by Matthew Lewis. I <3 Matthew Lewis! And I think he’s the perfect sort of sweet guy for this character. And now for Jacques. This is the hardest one of all. I’d love to say RUSSEL CROW!!! But he’s way too old. Unfortunately. So I’m going to go for Liam Hemsworth. I think he’s going to be a smashing leading lad in the next few years. (Unless he already is, in which case I’ve just revealed my lack of interest in movie culture.)

Emma Stone as Marguerite

Liam Hemsworth as Captain Kirk, er.. I mean… Jacques. He does look a lot like James T in this pic though, doesn’t he?

Matthew Lewis would make a very fine Claude 😉 1,000,000 points to Gryffindor!

Q5: What’s one sentence synopsis for your book?

Oh man.. this is always the hardest! Squishing an entire novel into one sentence sucks. I’ll give it a try…

Marguerite is going to have to survive a lot more than dancing with a room full of boring suitors if she wants to make it to adulthood.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve had some preliminary interest in it from agents and other published writers, so I’ll go the traditional publishing route first. If it doesn’t get picked up I’ll probably self publish it just so I can share it with my family as a family history project.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two and a half months to finish the rough draft. Still editing now.

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to, within your genre?

It’s sort of like Leviathan meets Gone With the Wind. Picture Scarlett’s plantation run by robots and you’ve about got it 😉

Q9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love doing genealogy and when I stumbled on this amazing story of my grandmother emigrating to Canada alone to marry a soldier that SHE was allowed to chose I thought… oh! I MUST write this! France and Canada had some very cool cultural differences from America back in the day. We spend so much time as American’s learning our history, we forget that other people do things differently and make them work. This is one of those amazing true stories that deserves to be told.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

I think the fact that it’s a true story is pretty amazing. That and its unlike any other emigration story I’ve ever read (a la America). Also, the main character, Marguerite, has a lot of levels. She’s a spoiled rich girl, but she’s also got a lot of strength and eventually develops a lot of depth of character – at least, I hope she does! That was the goal.

I am officially tagging Carole Rummage to carry on this lovely tradition :) I may also tag someone else later today.. so stay tuned! And don’t forget to leave a comment! Drawing for REACHED will be on Friday! I’ll try to have it in the mail by Saturday morning so you’ll get it sometime around Christmas :)

CHEERS!!

Take Refuge!

This book has been the highlight of my VERY exciting year. That’s saying a lot! It means a lot to me, and so does the author, Carole Rummage. I’m thrilled to be a host on her blog hop and to bring you these pearls of wisdom from her computer to yours, but first! The book!

Image

Check out this gorgeous cover! Love the font.. gotta find that font for my own evil purposes…

Laney Lowell moved across the country to escape her past, not to fall in love. But when she becomes friends with Gabe, a handsome artist plagued by a mysterious disease, she’ll have to decide between facing his dark truth or walking away from him forever. This thrilling romance is full of twists that will keep you guessing to the last page.

Now, the author! Here’s a visual aid so you know who we’re chatting with:

Carole Rummage – I ain’t yo’ yarn knittin’ granny, child! Now pick up that dangling participle before I tan yo’ hide!

So Carole, how’s the view from “I’m Published!!” land?

The view from “I’m Published” land is ever-changing. I have been shoved out of my comfort zone on a regular basis in the last month, so the view is new and different every day!
You’ve got lots of little grand kids, what made you want to write YA? Why not a cozy grandma knitting mystery?
Um, the reason I didn’t write that kind of book is because I’m not the cozy grandma knitting type? Duh. Just ask my poor neglected grandkids. Anyway, knitting itself remains a mystery to me. Okay, I’ll be serious. I think I write young adult because I love beginnings. Monday is my favorite day of the week, January my favorite month. As a young adult, you’re really just beginning real life, where your decisions have such impact. Life is serious and important and your whole future stretches in front of you–and yet you just want to have fun too. The possibilities are endless and the consequences seem so far off and you’re sure you can handle anything.
How did you decide to go writer-comando? (IE: straight to the publisher with no agent)
I went writer-commando simply because I didn’t know any better at the time. I learned about getting an agent and the hopeless prospect of getting published without one AFTER the fact. I picked a small publisher that accepted manuscripts from new authors and went for it and I was lucky.
What’s your favorite thing to eat while you write?
I eat constantly at the computer and have sticky keys as a result. All food is brain food, right? Also, must keep those finger muscles energized. I graze all day long: breakfast, second breakfast, snack, lunch, and second snack. Then I have to get up and make dinner. I keep my well-stocked Chocolate Emergency Kit and cooler of Diet Pepsi close by also.

Any advice for the rest of us schleps?

As far as advice goes, I don’t really have any. The journey is so different for each person. I would just borrow a quote from Old Bilbo: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your front door…there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” It’s hard to put yourself out there. Rejection is inevitable and hard. It hurts. And even getting published is hard in a different way. Suddenly people have opinions about you based on a story you told. Like everything hard, you have to be persistent. But it’s worth it. Falling in love with the characters you can create, the world you get to build, the rhythm and cadence of the words you pick and choose…it’s simply lovely, even if it is an unexpected and perilous journey.

There you have it! Don’t forget to comment so I can add you to the prize list! First drawing will be this Saturday – signed copy of Refuge! Also, check out Carole’s blog!

http://writingrefuge.blogspot.com

She always has great stuff to say!

Merry Christmas!!